February 17, 2012

Anthony McCall: Phenomenologies of Projection, Aesthetics of Transition

University of Chicago Arts
Anthony McCall, Sprueth Magers / Ambika P3 exhibition (London 2011).

Using atmospheric haze and film projectors, artist Anthony McCall creates beautiful, visually captivating light sculptures that explore ideas of architecture, duration and embodiment. Invoking comparisons to natural formations like waterfalls and moonlight, McCall’s slowly moving luminous projections invite visitors to step into the light, using their bodies to alter the shimmering forms. 


Experience the subtle poetics of McCall’s rarely exhibited ‘Solid Light’ films at a special two-day event at the University of Chicago, featuring works on both celluloid film and digital media. This exhibition and its related symposium turn a critical spotlight onto key moments in an artistic career that has moved with singular coherence between the aesthetics of an analog and a digital media paradigm.


The installation You and I, Horizontal (2005, dv) will be on exhibit at The Experimental Station, a community arts incubator in Hyde Park, Chicago on February 24 & 25. A special screening of Line Describing a Cone (1973, 16mm) and its digital remake Line Describing a Cone 2.0 (2011, dv) will take place at the installation site on alternate evenings. This exhibit is free and open to the public.


On Saturday, February 25, Anthony McCall will present an artist talk at an afternoon symposium dedicated to his work, then participate in a roundtable with a panel of distinguished curators and scholars including Chrissie Iles (Whitney Museum of America Art), Tom Gunning (Departments of Cinema and Media Studies and Art History, University of Chicago), Hamza Walker (The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago) and Daniel Morgan (Departments of English, Film and Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh). Reservations are required, and can be made at


Anthony McCall’s installations are rarely seen in America, despite his long basis in New York. In contrast with a concentration of ambitious exhibitions in Europe over the last decade this event at the University of Chicago will represent only the third extended display of his installations in the United States since 2003. Phenomenologies of Projection, Aesthetics of Transition: Anthony McCall 1970-79, 2001— attempts to address this absence by foregrounding the artist’s own formal and conceptual vocabularies, and by situating this profoundly phenomenal art in formats that will allow an audience to compare intuitively between analog and digital projection.


Curated by Michelle Menzies, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of English Language and Literature, as a project of the Film Studies Center Graduate Student Curatorial Program. This event is dedicated to the memory and legacy of Miriam Bratu Hansen (1949–2011).


Sponsors: Film Studies Center at the University of Chicago, The University of Chicago Arts Council, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, The Nicholson Center for British Studies, The Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, Tom Gunning Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award, Open Practice Committee, The Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture, The Franke Institute for the Humanities, The Department of Cinema and Media Studies, The Department of Visual Arts, The Department of English Language and Literature, The New Media Workshop, The Mass Culture Workshop, The Theatre and Performance Studies Workshop, The Contemporary Art and Its Histories Workshop.


For further information call 773-702-8596 or visit


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